In the week leading up to Independence Day (oh, sorry, I meant MIIB), readers' thoughts turned to the essence of America—Godliness, subsidies, or some combination of the two—and the Frays began to resemble one another. This is not surprising: Readers had three or four shots at discussing the separation of church and state, two chances to hit Amtrak, a second go at Minority Report. There was much redundancy, but in one instance a fusion frisson. Our "Culturebox" Frays dissecting the generic allegiances of Spielberg's Minority Report and the feminist allegiances of Barbie mushed together in a Wagnerian Gesamtkitschwerk, which is German for "big pile of squished bananas."
Subject: Hysterical Lithwick Thinks Sky Will Fall
Re: "Jurisprudence: The Supremes Pledge Allegiance to God"
Date: Jun 28 2002 7:24 AM
Lithwick frames the real tension of this debate as whether or not the First Amendment represents a barrier against the establishment of a specific faith, that is, a state church, or if it represents a more general barrier against the promotion of religion at all, i.e., a completely secular state.
But do those who ostensibly back the latter position really believe the amendment means a 100 percent secular state which completely ignores any and all religions? I think that it's blatantly obvious from the manifold mentions of God in our great documents, government edifices and walls, currency, founder's writings, patriotic hymns, etc., that the intent to have a completely secular state was never a goal of the framers. Neutrality was.
Subject: Does This Post Make You Angry?
Re: "History Lesson: The Pledge of Allegiance"
From: history guy
Date: Jun 28 2002 2:29 PM
During the Cold War, when the enemy was godless atheistic communism, claiming allegiance under God differentiated us from our enemies. In the current war against terrorist mass murderers, we are defending our lives and our freedom, and it's the enemy who claim to be acting under God's will. "Under God" was the justification for those who destroyed the World Trade Center and would slaughter all of us if they had the chance.
The Bin Ladenites unquestionably would pledge to God, but they do not accept "liberty and justice for all." Removing "under God" from our pledge will emphasize that our nation is different from, and better than, the one they seek to create.
Subject: The Pledge Is Creepy Anyway
Re: "History Lesson: The Pledge of Allegiance"
Date: Jun 29 2002 11:39 PM
Frankly, I have always found the whole Pledge of Allegiance a bit creepy anyway. Why must schoolchildren be directed to pronounce this litany every single day? I don't believe in a God who requires constant flattery and proclamations of loyalty. I don't date women who require constant flattery and proclamations of loyalty, and I don't wish to live in a nation that requires the same either.
Subject: News Flash: Government Services Cost Money
Re: "Assessment: Amtrak: The Little Engine That Couldn't"
From: Josh Pollack
Date: Jun 26 2002 2:25 PM
Chris Suellentrop calls Amtrak "a government-owned corporation that lost more than $1 billion last year."
Does that make the Department of Defense the government body that lost more than $288 billion last year?
Subject: From Barbie to Britney
Re: "Culturebox: Give Pink a Chance: Barbie Takes on Europe—And Wins"
From: miss mae
Date: Jul 1 2002 11:26 AM
What does Moira Redmond think happens at age 8 when girls outgrow their pink-pleather clad "Earring Magic Barbie" dolls? Do they abandon the bustier-wearing miniskirted "fashion doll" in favor of climbing trees, playing sports, and exploring the mysteries of science? Or do they begin to beg their parents for the latest Britney Spears CD and low-rider pants from The Limited Too, where once they had requested seemingly endless iterations of Barbie and her blandly multi-cultural gal pals?
Subject: Minority Barbie
Re: "Culturebox: Give Pink a Chance: Barbie Takes on Europe—And Wins" and "Culturebox: Steven Spielberg, Noir Criminal"
Date: Jul 1 2002 12:17 PM
ACT 2 SCENE 4:
Anderton drives the stolen Lexus up a circular driveway fronting a fabulous pink estate. He exits the car and approaches the door. Before he has a chance to knock, the door opens and a beautiful, large breasted blonde with a three-inch waist—wearing chic pink clothing—stands before him, balancing on a walker.
BARBIE: I'm Barbie. I was expecting you, Mr. Anderton.
ANDERTON: Call me Ken. That's not my real name, but for some unknown reason ... God, you have nice clothes.
BARBIE: Yes, and my breasts are large.
ANDERTON: You're perfect ... you're exactly as I saw you in the past while looking into the future which is now the present.
BARBIE: Tee-hee ... you're cute.
ANDERTON: I notice you use a walker. Are you injured?
BARBIE: My feet are too small. I have no balance. I generally lie on my back with my extraordinary breasts pointing skyward.
ANDERTON: You like pink ...
BARBIE: You're sweet to notice.
ANDERTON: I was concerned. I just had some new eyes put in and I wasn't sure if they were defective.
BARBIE: Pull your car around back and park it between the pink Corvette and the pink motor home. I'll then tell you of the Minority Report.
ANDERTON: Minority Report?
BARBIE: Yes. Hasbro, Mattel, Tyco … they're all behind the conspiracy.
ANDERTON: Oh my God!
Zathras's Fray Barbie design-a-thon is taking place here.
The biggest missed opportunity for some really good Fray was at "Low Concept" here.